By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Gov. Mark Gordon announced Tuesday afternoon that Wyoming’s current public health orders will remain in place until at least Aug. 15 as coronavirus cases continue to rise in the state.
According to a news release from Gordon’s office, the continuing orders allow gatherings of up to 50 people in a confined space to occur without restrictions and permits outside events of up to 250 people with social distancing and increased sanitzation measures in place.
Faith-based gatherings such as church services and funeral services will continue to be permitted to operate without restrictions, with appropriate social distancing encouraged. The public health restrictions that apply to restaurants, bars, gyms and performance spaces will remain in place.
“It is important for all of us to remain vigilant as we continue to see case numbers increase statewide,” Gordon said in the release. “We are approaching a critical time for our state’s economy. So far, Wyoming has been able to keep our businesses open and our citizens safe. That’s good for our economy and good for the health of our people.”
Over the past 14 days, Wyoming has averaged 37 new lab-confirmed cases of the coronavirus per day, with 523 new cases confirmed since July 12.
From June 28 to July 12, Wyoming averaged 28 new cases per day and there were 385 lab-confirmed cases reported. On Tuesday, the state reported 64 lab-confirmed cases, the highest single-day total since the pandemic began.
The Department of Health and the governor continue to recommend the use of face coverings in public settings where it is not possible or reasonable to stay physically apart. On Wyoming’s COVID-19 dashboard, the categories of number of new cases and new hospitalizations is rated “Concerning.”
Public health order no. 1 has also been updated to provide more specific guidelines for school operations, including a continuation of the requirement that students wear face coverings in situations where 6 feet of separation can’t be maintained.
The Wyoming Office of Homeland Security, the Wyoming Department of Health and the Wyoming Department of Education have partnered to distribute 500,000 cloth face coverings to school districts around the state.
“As we look towards the fall, we must remember that continued business expansion is a fragile thing and depends on each citizen doing their best to keep our economy flourishing,” Gordon said. “I sincerely thank those Wyoming citizens who are taking action to keep our businesses open by voluntarily wearing a mask when you can’t socially distance.”
As of Tuesday, Wyoming has recorded 2,136 lab-confirmed positive cases of COVID-19, 453 probable cases and 26 deaths. The latest death was attributed to a Uinta County man who died in another state.